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Panthers thump Tigers in rivalry

After a close first quarter, the Georgiana Panthers put their foot on the accelerator to claim a big 74-34 win over McKenzie in the roundball version of their rivalry.

McKenzie hung tough in the first period and only trailed 15-10. However, the Panthers picked up the tempo of the game and the Tigers went cold from the field.

The lead stretched out to 27-10, and by halftime, the margin was 35-17.

Georgiana head coach Kirk Norris said this game was a good thing for his team.

“First of all, it’s a rivalry game, which is a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s also a good tune-up for area play for both of us. You’d rather play a game than just play yourself in practice.”

“This was a good win over an improved McKenzie team,” Norris continued. “It was a good test, even though the score doesn’t show it.”

Scoring for the Panthers was fairly evenly distributed, with Jamie Williams scoring 16 points and Derrick Crittenden and Victor Marshall both adding eight.

Emmanuel Johnson led the Tigers with 10 points.

“Georgiana is a good-looking team,” said McKenzie head coach Miles Brown. “No matter what five they put on the floor, they’re good. The biggest thing for us was getting to play some of our depth.”

For McKenzie, the game was a letdown following a big win over Red Level last Friday night.

Red Level was a top 10 team in 2A, but McKenzie pulled out a 58-55 win.

Brown said the key to that game was containing Red Level’s two main scoring threats: D.J. Sankey and Cale Nolen.

“Any time you hold their top two scorers under 10 points, it’s going to help you win games,” he said. “That’s the best game we’ve played in a long time. We just didn’t play well against Georgiana coming off that big win.”

The Panthers hosted Frisco City in their area tournament last night in Georgiana, while McKenzie traveled to Pleasant Home to face off against Kinston.

Results were unavailable at press time.